Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today released the government’s strategy to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 — and its centrepiece is a gradual hike in the federal carbon tax on fuels to $170 a tonne by that year.
As seas rise and coastal storms intensify, policymakers and low-lying cities around the globe are increasingly wrestling with the reality of needing to relocate entire communities to higher, safer ground. Scientists estimate that up to 340 million people in coastal areas could be displaced by 2050, and 630 million by 2100, in locations from the United States to Nigeria to the Philippines.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tabled new legislation today that would force current and future federal governments to set binding climate targets to get Canada to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Just like with COVID-19, ignoring the risks of climate change isn’t an option,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That approach would only make the costs higher and the long-term consequences worse. Canadians have been clear — they want climate action now.”
“2021 must be the year of a great leap towards carbon neutrality,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General to a virtual gathering of influential leaders on Monday. “Every country, city, financial institution and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050.” “By early 2021, countries representing more than 65 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than 70 per cent of the world economy are very likely to have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality,” he said. “The signal this sends to markets, institutional investors and decision-makers is clear. Carbon should be given a price. We must shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters.” He added that financial reporting on exposure to climate risks should be made mandatory, while authorities must integrate the carbon neutrality goal into economic and fiscal policies in order to truly transform industry, agriculture, transportation and the energy sector.
The Bank of England and the Banque de France are spearheading the first comprehensive climate-change stress tests of banks and insurers. Tests for the UK’s largest institutions will be mandatory while participation by France’s largest banks, a number of which already consider climate risk in their risk-management framework, is voluntary. Both the UK and French stress tests will run 30-year climate-change scenarios based on data provided by the banks. Results from the French tests are expected next April while the Bank of England has postponed its tests until mid-2021 due to the pandemic.
Five years after causing anger and anxiety in Christchurch’s coastal communities, the council is taking a new approach to tackle the impact of rising sea levels. Christchurch City Council is embarking on a lengthy process to figure out how its low-lying coastal and inland communities will adapt to the ramifications of climate change.
Large companies and financial institutions in the UK will have to come clean about their exposure to climate risks within five years under the terms of a tougher regime announced by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak. In an attempt to demonstrate the government’s commitment to tackling global heating, Sunak said the UK would go further than an international taskforce had recommended and make disclosure by large businesses mandatory.
The White House has removed the scientist responsible for the National Climate Assessment, the federal government’s premier contribution to climate knowledge and the foundation for regulations to combat global warming, in what critics interpreted as the latest sign that the Trump administration intends to use its remaining months in office to continue impeding climate science and policy.